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  • September 14th, 2014

3 good reasons to use brand storytelling in your business for exponential growth.

logo-TheArtofBrandStoryAre you struggling with capturing the true essence of your story? Read up on three of the most overlooked reasons for telling and sharing your story – and why it matters.

The business of storytelling is your most competitive advantage.

I have a hunch the art of brand storytelling is going to be top priority for businesses next year. After all, it’s the best positioning strategy for any business. Particularly for those whip-smart leaders who want to land a spot on the 21C New Brand Landscape.

Unless you’ve been living with your head in the sand, today’s brand landscape has changed. Why? Because we’re living in unprecedented times.  All the rules are changing in this digital world, and your brand is now your most valuable asset.

What’s more, people (your customers, clients – and, you too) are demanding more transparent conversations, meaningful interactions, and longing to connect with others. The best way to connect with people is by sharing your story.

After all, what do you think 1 billion people are really doing on FaceBook? They’re craving to connect with others via words and pictures. It’s that simple: They’re sharing their stories. To get the ball rolling? I dare you to wear the hat of Chief Brand Storyteller every day for the next week. Because your interest, willingness and capacity for storytelling is going to make the difference to your bottom line. Watch what happens when you start sharing your story…

In full disclosure: If you’ve been keeping your customers at arm’s length, and not sharing anything about you, what you’re doing – why it’s important and why anyone should give a damn – that’s a strategy that’s doomed for failure. It’s a strategy that holds no brand promise. Translation? There’s no magic that will keep anyone’s attention for too long.

If you’re wondering how to bring more meaning, more value and stay relevant and visible on the 21st century new brand landscape, here’s what I’ve discovered in the process of using storytelling to amp up brands.

 1. Without a story that touches and moves people, you’re not offering them the opportunity to understand the core brand value you bring to the table.

Once you get your story right and it resonates with your audience, your customers are going to pick up on the kind of core value you bring to the table. They’re going to look at your brand through a different lens, thanks to your story, and they’re going to be thinking  — ‘I like this person. I can get a sense of who they are. I want to work with this person.‘ It will feel real and true. That’s the idea, after all.

And guess what? That’s exactly when your customers are going to open their wallets. Ka-Ching.

Where to start? Start by tapping into the reasons why you’re working at what you do. Or why you started your business in the first place? I bet you have a remarkable ‘back story’ that would fascinate people. As in: share something about you that they’d never be able to know. Articulate that story. Make it personal. And it will help you leverage your energy, creativity and courage that will define you – and everything you do. This is about making human connection through your story. The businesses that are willing to tell their story are going to see how that story sharing impacts the bottom line (sooner than you think.)

On a personal note: When I started sharing my own story of being a Dutch sea captain’s daughter, I was amazed at the reaction. People seemed to have trouble remembering my name but they had no problem remembering the Dutch sea captain’s daughter! What’s more, when I shared the story that my mother was a naval nurse, and my parents were married both wearing their naval uniform, it would stop them in their tracks! Why? Well, for whatever reason, they were ‘seeing a picture in their mind’s eyes’ – and it landed a spot in their psyche. That’s where the magic lives.

2.) Without a story to tell, you’re not allowing others to to experience your exuberant voice.

Passionate about your business? Tell it from the heart, and your story will turn into one irresistible magnet. People will start to pay more attention to everything you’re doing, and before you know it, your business brand will soar (no, catapult) above the new 21st Century brand landscape.

Understand why you do what you do, why you care and why you’re so invested. Weave that story  into your narrative.

Where to start? It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for small business branding ideas or you’re a corporate brand guardian. Just start raising the emotional intelligence (EQ) around your brand. Remember, you’re not the rational being you thought you were. We make our decisions to work with you, buy from you – based on how we feel. So allow others to pick up on what drives you, what you’re most passionate about. FYI We’re talking storytelling but not every story needs to be told using language.  Think visuals, instead.

Take a look at this ABOUT page for a hugely creative tribe of storytellers based in NYC. Cocollective.com. One look and you get an immediate sense of what each person is like – what they love most. What they care about. Hugely powerful stuff. If this visual storytelling resonates with you, then make this part of your brand strategy. Then see the kind of response you get. Ka-Ching!

PS Just go to cocollective.com and scroll down until you get to this image. You’ll find it’s very hard to ignore the energy around a visual brand story like this.  The energy is pumping. That’s exactly what makes us lean in, hearts beating a little faster. Ka-Ching!

For the skeptics or conservative people reading this: If you’re thinking to yourself, ‘hey, I could never do anything like this for my business’ – think again. Of course Co:Collective is a creative agency and one of their clients is Google. So your clients are not creative and wouldn’t appreciate getting a real sense of the real you? Or, a real sense behind your executive team? (Think again.) After all, this is about creating human connection in today’s world. How well are you managing that in your business?

ty3. Without a story, your business can’t show up – and live out loud. (This is about brand inspiration).

Living out loud is about allowing people to see that twinkle your eye, and that spring in your step. It’s offering people the chance to get a sense of who you and what makes you tick. Your story is the key here, and it’s the piece that inspires others to keep following you, trusting you and eventually to buy from you. How inspiring is that?!

Where to start? If you understand that your customers are craving real, authentic messaging from you – a sense of who you are – then make sure they know you have blood running through your veins! When is the last time you put up a video of yourself on your home page?  OK. Create a series of 90-second videos where you talk directly – upfront and personal.  Offer valuable content, tips, solutions, strategies, ideas – all told in your own idiosyncratic voice and highly-personal way of doing things. It’s never been easier, and it’s just a matter of putting yourself in front of a camera and start talking. If you have a sense of humour, be funny. If you’re earnest, be serious and intentional.

FYI People want to get a sense of you. Don’t keep them waiting. This is all about creating your brand story — and positioning yourself and your business at the forefront of everyone else in your industry. Story is the key. It can be stories in words and pictures. Or it can be just visual branding and visual storytelling. Or mix and match. Where to start? Just get started! Then send me your story — I want to see the shift in your thinking around brand storytelling…


  1. Mary van de Wiel

    September 22nd, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Thanks to you Ankya!

  2. Ankya

    September 14th, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this post. Can feel YOUR Passion! Thank you…
    Definitely inspires me now to ‘rethink’ and shift to story brand telling and be part of the Co:Collective StoryTellers Tribe too 🙂